Submitted to: Proceedings of the Annual South Platte Forum
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2003
Publication Date: 10/22/2003
Citation: Halvorson, A.D., Mosier, A.R., Reule, C.A. No-till crop production under sprinkler irrigation in south platte valley. Proceedings of the Annual South Platte Forum. Colorado State University Information Series No. 97, p. 17.
Technical Abstract: Irrigated farmers in the South Platte Valley generally utilize intensive tillage practices to manage crop residues and prepare a seedbed for the next crop. This can result in severe wind and water erosion until the next crop is large enough to provide protection to the soil. Tillage also results in the loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, thus contributing a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere and to global warming potential (GWP). Leaving crop residues on the soil surface by using reduced-tillage and no-till systems can reduce soil erosion, water runoff, and SOC loss from irrigated fields. This can result in better water use efficiency, soil quality, and environmental quality. The objective of this poster will be to present results from a four year irrigated cropping systems study conducted just north of Fort Collins, Colorado on a Fort Collins clay loam soil under sprinkler irrigation where no-till (NT) cropping systems [continuous corn (C-C), barley-corn (B-C), soybean-corn (S-C), and barley-corn-soybean (B-C-S)] produced under six different nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates are compared with conventional till (CT) continuous corn production. Yield, crop residue levels, and residual soil nitrate-N level comparisons will be made between corn grown under CT vs NT corn rotations. Conversion to a NT system has potential benefits of reduced fossil fuel requirements due to reduced number of tillage operations, less nitrate-N available for leaching and ground water contamination, reduced soil erosion, and increased SOC sequestration. The increase in SOC sequestration with the NT system helps to reduce the net GWP by decreasing the loss of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, thus minimizing net greenhouse gas emissions from irrigated cropping systems.